It’s 2019 and I’m pretty sure you must have heard the word ASMR thrown around on the internet by now, but what is ASMR? More importantly, how do I know if I experience it?
Today we are going to explore the depths of whispering into a mic, tingling sensations in our heads, and finding out if this is all a joke or a real thing that we should all be into.
Turns out ASMR is something we all have experienced at one point in our lives or another.
Have you ever felt a tingling sensation when someone scratches the back of you head, plays with your hair, whispers into your ear, or talks softly to you? If you have, then you have felt ASMR.
The term ASMR was proposed by a woman named Jennifer Allen in 2010. It was around that time that she ran across a group of people on a steadyhealth.com forum who described a sensation she herself had experienced, but which no one seemed to understand well.
Frustrated by the lack of community organization on that forum, she created a Facebook group called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response Group. The group name was one that she believed captured the key characteristics of what’s now known as ASMR.
Allen choose those 4 words intending them to have these specific meanings:
- Autonomous – spontaneous, self-governing, with or without control
- Sensory – pertaining to the senses or sensation
- Meridian – signifying a peak, climax, or point of highest development
- Response – referring to an experience triggered by something external or internal
According to those who experience it, ASMR is usually triggered by auditory and visual stimuli like:
- Listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice
- Listening to quiet, repetitive sounds resulting from someone engaging in a mundane task such as turning the pages of a book
- Watching somebody attentively execute a mundane task such as preparing food
- Loudly chewing, crunching, slurping or biting foods, drinks, or gum ( I still don’t understand how this can relax anyone! )
- Receiving personal attention
- Listening to tapping, typically nails onto surfaces such as plastic, wood, metal, etc.
- Hand movements, especially onto one’s face
The most popular way of getting your ASMR “fix” is through watching videos. There are many ASMR videos out there and there’s even an app specially made for said videos, called Tinggles App. Intentional ASMR media is created by those known within the community as ‘ASMRtists’ with the purpose of triggering ASMR in viewers and listeners. There’s also unintentional ASMR media, which is described usually as videos that trigger ASMR but that aren’t mean to.
At first, it may seem a bit strange to watch someone tap on certain objects with their nails close a to a microphone and think that that will relax or sooth you, but there are MILLIONS of people watching these videos (myself included).
There has been a bit of controversy surrounding ASMR, because many journalists describe it as sexual or arousing content, but the majority of the people who experience it and enjoy it disagree with that. They say that ASMR is more of a calming, soothing, and relaxing sensation as opposed to an erotic one.
If you want to find out if you are one of the many people who experience this phenomenon the best way to do it is to watch an ASMR video on Youtube. Some channels that I personally recommend are the following:
Have you experienced ASMR? Share with us in the comments below!